International Consultancy: Technical Assistance for improved quality of care in the management of severe wasting in Niger
Job no: 539751
Position type: Consultancy
Division/Equivalent: Dakar (WCAR), Senegal
Department/Office: Niamey, Niger
Categories: Nutrition, Consultancy
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Undernutrition continues to be an issue of great concern in Niger.
The most recent national nutrition survey conducted between September and October 2020 using SMART methodology reveals a 12.7% prevalence in global acute malnutrition (GAM), compared to 10.7% last year.
The prevalence of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) is estimated at 2.6%, surpassing the WHO emergency threshold of 2%.
Four regions (namely Diffa, Agadez, Zinder and Tahoua) show a particularly alarming situation with a SAM prevalence near or above 3%.
Stunting is also a major problem, affecting almost one child in two (45.1%). With this rate, and given its population size, Niger has today one of the highest numbers of stunted children in the Sahel region.
Maradi and Zinder, the two most populous regions of the country, are the most affected with rates above 50%.
This situation is a consequence of several factors, including poor infant and young child feeding practices, inadequate maternal care, occurrence of recurrent infections and outbreaks, poor access to safe drinking water as well as poor hygiene and sanitation conditions.
This situation is further exacerbated by the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on the food and healthcare systems, flooding that has affected every part of the country and the volatile security situation.
UNICEF and the nutrition sector estimate that 457,200 children aged 6 to 59 months will suffer from severe acute malnutrition in 2021 in Niger.
They would therefore require appropriate therapeutic care to prevent excess mortality.
Since 2005, UNICEF has been working with the Ministry of Health and partners to scale up access to Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) services in Niger.
In addition, UNICEF is supporting the integration of SAM treatment programs into the health system. Currently the CMAM program is present in 1,162 of 1,175 health facilities with about 99% of availability coverage nationally.
How can you make a difference?
The purpose of this consultancy is to provide technical support to the nutrition section throughout the CMAM programming processes to facilitate the provision of quality care to children with severe wasting at national level according to existing UNICEF’s Strategic Plans, standards of performance and accountability framework.
Key duties and tasks
Under the supervision of the Nutrition Section Chief and in close collaboration with zonal offices, the consultant will:
1. Provide technical support for improved quality of care in the management of SAM in all UNICEF-supported health facilities across the country
Identify technical support needs of zonal offices on the management of severe wasting and provide strategic and technical support to address the gaps.
Conduct field visits to selected districts and health facilities to observe SAM management practices and prepare monitoring and evaluation reports related to the implementation of the national CMAM program to identify gaps, strengths/weaknesses in service delivery, and propose remedial solutions to address bottlenecks.
Provide technical assistance and quality assurance support to the Directorate of Nutrition in developing/reviewing guidelines, training materials and job aids on CMAM.
Support the development of guidelines and protocols at national level to adapt services in the context of Covid-19.
Support the design and implementation of capacity building activities on the management of severe wasting at national and regional levels.
Support the transition towards adopting simplified approaches in the management of severe wasting.
2. Provide technical support for improved nutrition supply chain system
Provide support for accurate forecasts for RUTF (Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food), therapeutic milks and essential medicines per quarters, undertaken jointly with MOH (Ministry of Health).
Provide support for timely procurement of RUTF and therapeutic milks and essential medicines, update supplies tracking system.
Provide support for prepositioning of RUTF and other supplies to health districts to ensure no stock-out.
Monitor supply utilization and ensure that RUTF consumption vs. case load relationship matches and any action/feedback is taken/provided as needed.
Provide support to ensure CMAM supplies are fully utilized before grants reaching
3. Provide technical support to the nutrition section on issues related to the management of severe wasting
Provide technical assistance and quality assurance support to the section in implementing the component of the annual work plan on the management of severe wasting.
Support the nutrition section in developing concept notes/proposals and preparing donor reports to support resource mobilization for the management of severe wasting.
Support quality assurance and monitoring of implementation by developing adequate tools and procedures for data collection/analysis.
4. Provide technical support on knowledge management
Support zonal offices in bottleneck analyses, program reviews and evaluations on the management of severe wasting.
Conduct regular searches of literature and any other relevant information and package on management of severe wasting to share with the nutrition section and zonal offices.
Develop case studies and field notes documentation of the implementation of CMAM activities.
Technical support for improved quality of care in the management of SAM in all UNICEF-supported health facilities across the country
A detailed consultancy report is submitted at the end of every month, summarizing key actions taken regarding the four work areas, key findings, recommendations, and actions points for the next one-month period.
1 May-15 June 2021
Technical support for improved nutrition supply chain system
16 June -31 July 2021
Technical support to the nutrition section on issues related to the management of severe wasting
01 Aug -15 Sept 2021
Technical support on knowledge management
16 Sept- 30 Oct 2021
The consultant will work under the direct supervision of the Nutrition Section Chief.
The consultant will work in close collaboration with nutrition specialists in the Niamey CO and in zonal offices.
The selected consultant will develop within three working days of contract signing a detailed work plan in consultation with the Nutrition Section Chief who will monitor the progress of the consultancy through brief progress updates, reviews, feed-back to the consultant.
Technical assistance needs to zonal offices will be conducted by the consultant as necessary and under the overall guidance of the Nutrition Section Chief.
End consultancy performance review will be conducted upon receipt of all deliverables by the consultant.
The consultant will also work closely with the Directorate of Nutrition, UN sister organizations and the Nutrition Technical Working Group on the management of severe wasting.
Technical evaluation (1) and financial proposal (2):
The Cumulative Analysis Method (weight combined score method) will be used for this recruitment:
1) Technical evaluation of the candidates’ qualifications, experience, and expertise (max. 100 points)-weight 70%
2) Financial Proposal (max. 100 points)-weight 30 %
The maximum number of points will be allotted to the lowest Financial Proposal that is evaluated and compared among those technical qualified candidates who have attained a minimum 70 points score in the technical evaluation. Other Financial Proposals will receive points in inverse proportion to the lowest price.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
Advanced degree in medicine, public health, nutrition, epidemiology, or related field.
At least 5 years of experience in nutrition programming. Experience in the management of CMAM programs is required.
Ability to express clearly and concisely ideas and concepts in written and oral form.
Proven skills in writing for journal articles, especially for research in treatment of wasting.
Work experience in sub-Saharan Africa; ideally in Central Sahel.
Strong quantitative analytical skills.
Fluency in French and English
UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.
UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination.
UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles.
All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history.
Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.
Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage).
Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.
Advertised: Apr 19 2021 W. Central Africa Standard Time
Application close: Apr 26 2021 W. Central Africa Standard Time